18 to Life
By Kari Croop,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sitcom makes light of teen marriage and premarital sex.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show tends to make light of marriage without getting into any real consequences. The same can be said for premarital sex. The overall message is that it's easy -- and, in theory, OK -- for two teens to get married.
Positive Role Models
The main characters essentially get married on a whim and make glib statements about having premarital sex. And their parents play a passive-aggressive game with the kids that ultimately backfires.
Violence & Scariness
Some comic violence, like a brother putting his younger sister in a headlock.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some making out and casual sexual innuendo between teen characters who have already had sex -- sometimes with more than one partner -- starting as early as 16. After they're married, the teens have more sex, but viewers only see their bare shoulders under the covers.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Fairly infrequent use of words like "hell."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Comic references to beer bongs, Valium, etc.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this teen-centric Canadian sitcom centers on two 18-year-olds who decide to get married on a whim after a rousing game of Truth or Dare, with no jobs or real way to support themselves. The show doesn't really address the consequences of a big decision like this, ultimately treating marriage very lightly. Some sexual innuendo reveals that the newlyweds already had sex with each other, and the girl admits that she also had sex with someone else when she was 16. After the wedding, they have even more sex, but the most viewers see is their bare shoulders in bed. There's some light swearing (mostly "hell") and see a little cartoonish violence.
Where to Watch
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
While playing a game of Truth or Dare, teenage couple Jessie (Stacey Farber) and Tom (Michael Seater) end up getting engaged. But nobody seems thrilled about the news, particularly the happy couple's horrified friends (Jesse Rath and Erin Agostino) and shellshocked parents (Ellen David, Peter Keleghan, Angela Asher, and Alain Goulem). Turns out nobody really wants a big wedding ... least of all Jessie and Tom, who skip the ceremony altogether and go straight to City Hall. The rest of 18 TO LIFE is about their struggles being teens and married adults.
Is It Any Good?
There's something shocking and at the same time strangely chaste about this Canadian import that asks viewers to accept an exceptionally odd premise. On one hand, these kids are 18, and nowadays, not too many "kids" get married -- unless they have to. On the other, there's no baby on the way, which means they're actually getting married for love. Couple that with the fact that they got the idea while playing Truth or Dare, and it's a real head-scratcher.
Aside from all that, though, the show isn't very funny, which makes it all the more difficult to swallow. Because while comedies can take a lot of liberties with audiences when it comes to what we're willing to believe, they've got to make us laugh in return. And in this case, we're left feeling cheated.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about sex and the real-life consequences that come along with it. Does this show approach the subject with any seriousness? Do you think it portrays teens' attitudes realistically when it comes to sex?
In terms of behavior, how do these characters compare to other teens on TV?
How would you characterize the people on the show as role models? Are they intended to be role models to teens?
- Premiere date: August 3, 2010
- Cast: Michael Seater, Stacey Farber
- Network: CW
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Teen Romance Novels
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate